It was the second major fire on the Bellbrook, Ohio property in two months; an historic barn used for storage burned down in early May. Two prospective members who were on the grounds said they still planned to join after seeing the camaraderie displayed by existing members during the blaze.
The clubhouse of Sugar Valley Country Club, Bellbrook, Ohio, was destroyed on Sunday, July 13 in the second major fire on the property in two months, reported WHIO-TV of Dayton, Ohio.
On May 5, an historic barn built in 1900 and now used for storage at the club burned down, WHIO-TV reported. Sugar Valley’s fleet of 49 gasoline golf carts and golf clubs belonging to some members were also destroyed by that blaze.
The clubhouse fire ripped through the roof of the attic around 3:30 p.m. and then quickly consumed the rest of the structure, WHIO-TV reported.
The state fire marshal arrived Sunday, and has started a second investigation at the country club, WHIO-TV reported. Josh Johnson, a Fire Lieutenant with Sugarcreek Twp., said the investigation into the first fire is still pending.
The clubhouse building, which was also constructed in 1900, according to the Greene County (Ohio) Auditor’s Office online records, has been “remodeled and refurbished multiple times” over the years, Johnson said. The cause could be electrical, but it remains under investigation. There were no injuries reported.
“We do think that it possibly started somewhere in the attic,” Johnson said.
More than 50 firefighters responded to the fire, and Johnson said crews were to remain overnight to douse hot spots.
A major challenge for firefighters was a lack of water supply, because there are no hydrants in the area, Johnson told WHIO-TV.
Although the weather was clear at the time of the blaze, it was breezy.
“The wind has contributed to some of the fire; however, the fire was well-involved in the building before any of the crews arrived,” said Battalion Chief Nathan Hiester of the Beavercreek Fire Department, one of 10 responding departments from three Ohio counties — Greene, Montgomery and Warren.
Between 50 and 70 spectators, most of them members, were either on the grounds when the fire broke out or gathered upon hearing the news, WHIO-TV reported. One man stood with his arms crossed over his chest, commenting he had just played a round of golf that morning. Other members said they were stunned as they watched flames devour the building.
Prospective members Bill and Kelly Stone of Centerville, Ohio told WHIO-TV they had drinks in the clubhouse, met with staff and were looking at applications on Sunday afternoon.
“We decided to play nine holes and check it out,” Kelly Stone said. “Teed off, got up to the green and turned around and saw the smoke.”
The fire quickly spread, she said. “The flames popped out through the roof and then it just engulfed the entire building.”
The camaraderie among members and their interactions with people at the country club during the fire only bolstered the Stones’ impression of the club, however.
“We’re still planning on joining on Monday,” Kelly Stone said. “They’ve still got a great golf course and golf carts.”
For a video report on the clubhouse fire, go to http://www.whio.com/news/news/fire-reported-sugar-valley-country-club/ngfHW/?__federated=1